New Believers Bible - Flipbook - Page 116
every believer is necessarily a disciple. A disciple is someone who has made a
wholehearted commitment to follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In one
sense, you might call discipleship “radical Christian living.” When you truly
make a commitment to be Christ’s disciple, you will be living the Christian life
as it was meant to be lived. Anything short of discipleship is settling for less
than what God desires. Here are four passages from the Bible that explain what
it means to truly be a disciple of Jesus.
1. A Disciple Takes Up His or Her Cross and Follows Christ. Being a
disciple takes work and commitment (see Luke 9:23-25, page 913).
2. A Disciple Counts the Cost. Jesus’ disciples are willing to give up
everything to follow him (see Luke 14:25-33, page 923).
3. A Disciple Abides in Christ. The source of a disciple’s strength comes
from his or her closeness to Christ (see John 15:1-17, page 955).
4. A Disciple Walks as Jesus Walked. Disciples pattern their lives after
Jesus, the ultimate example of how to live (see 1 John 2:3-6, page 1143).
Money is such an important topic in the Bible that it is the main subject of
nearly half the parables Jesus told. In addition, one out of every seven verses
in the New Testament deals with the topic. To give you an idea of how this
compares with other topics, Scripture offers about five hundred verses on
prayer and fewer than five hundred on faith, while there are more than two
thousand verses on money!
You may be wondering what money has to do with your faith. Now that Jesus
Christ has come into your life, he wants to be Lord (to be in command) of every
aspect of it. That includes your finances. Martin Luther astutely observed,
“There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the mind,
and the purse [or wallet].” When we experience this “conversion of the purse”
and give freely of our finances to the Lord’s work (to our church, a missionary,
or a ministry), we will make the best investment possible—an investment with
eternal dividends. With that in mind, here are four questions to consider about
wealth and giving.
1. Why Should You Give a Portion of Your Financial Resources to
God? God wants to prove his faithfulness through your regular giving, or
tithes (see Malachi 3:8-11, page 831).
2. How Much Should You Give? God encourages us to give sacrificially
(see Mark 12:41-44, page 891).